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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  3,513 Ratings  ·  144 Reviews
Dick Francis has garnered international acclaim for fusing supercharged action and taut moral drama into best-selling novels of suspense. Set amid the world of high-stakes horseracing, which is his special turf, Decider ranks with this enormously popular author's finest work. Free choice? According to architect, engineer, and jobbing builder Lee Morris, there's no such thi ...more
Paperback, 341 pages
Published April 1st 1995 by Jove (first published February 1st 1993)
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Mar 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lee Morris is the kind of guy you’d want for a friend. He’s self-assured in many ways, physically strong and mentally at the top of his game. Lee makes a living by prowling around Britain scouting out old ruined buildings and businesses he can remodel, restore, and revitalize.

Lee shares his house with his wife, Amanda, and six boys. He’s a good dad despite the coldness and apathetic distance of the marriage, which is crumbling and dying not from verbal abuse so much as from a lack of love and co
What is there to say about Dick Francis? As I think about all of his books (yes, this review covers all of his books, and yes I've read them all) I think about a moral ethical hero, steeped in intelligence and goodness embroiled in evil machinations within British horse racing society - either directly or indirectly. The heroes aren't always horse jockies, they can be film producers, or involve heroes engaged in peripheral professions that somehow always touch the horse racing world.

But more tha
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horse-racing
Francis writes about horse racing, that’s well known. But his recipe for a book is to also mix in one or two other topics, like glass blowing or computer viruses or movie making. These extra topics flesh out the characters and differentiate the stories, and I’m sure Francis enjoyed researching these extra bits. Sometimes it takes some reflection to figure out the topics, often it doesn’t. This one certainly had the role of an architect/builder as a key part of the story. The architect is our pro ...more
I love this one. It's the first mystery he's ever written where the hero had kids, so he gave him seven. All boys. On the other hand, he went back to the unhappy marriage theme letting the wife have an affair and the hero long to have one. Can't have everything. A great example of the history factor where it is only by learning what characters have done that the hero can blackmail his way to safety. Also a fine example of psychological detection, since the hero must consider the various members ...more
Oct 26, 2008 rated it liked it
This novel stands out because Lee is one of the few Francis characters to have children. And Lee’s love for his children is very strong. It’s strange because the character does not have a good relationship with his wife and the romance, if you wish to call it that seems to occur with a character that really isn’t an entity. In fact, Lee’s wife Amanda seems to be a Disney mother – not there but supposedly a good one.
That said Lee and his children are extremely well drawn. One wonders if Francis
A rollercoaster!
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british, 8-star
Lee Morris is a hands-on builder as well as an architect. He and his wife Amanda married at the age of nineteen and still relatively young, are now the parents of six boys. Lee's mother was once married to Keith Stratton, one of the sons of Lord Stratton, owner of Stratton Park racecourse. It was an abusive marriage and when Lee's mother left, abandoning her daughter Hannah, her father-in-law gave her eight shares in the racecourse which Lee inherited on his mother's death. Lee is not related to ...more
Oct 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, england
The dysfunctional Stratton family are owners of the Stratton Park racecourse. The racecourse is old and in need of repair but the family is divided on what to do: modernize, leave as-is, or sell. Lee Morris, related through the elder Lord Stratton, owns seven shares and decides to attend one of the shareholder meetings. That was where he became aware of the family secrets so dear that they’d do anything to cover them up. Lee takes an interest in the proceedings. As an architect, he understands ...more
Apr 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Lee Morris, the father of 6 sons is estranged from his wife even though they are still living together. He is owner of a few of stock in a racecourse. He finally goes to a meeting and meets the Stratton family in person. His mother had been married to one of the Strattons but he was not Lee's father. Her second husband was. Lee takes his sons on a outing to the racecourse in their "bus" and they have a great time until they run into the worst of the Strattons, Keith who was his mother's first hu ...more
Brenda Kirton
This is my favorite of the Dick Francis novels. I fell in love Lee Norris. He is someone I would like to know in real life. The story is intense and low key at the same time. When the protagonist in Dick Francis novel is hurt (and they usually are), they hurt but keep going. Part of the appeal to his novels is this approach to life. Even though he started off writing about jockeys, Dick Francis continued on to write about so many other fields, like in this on where Lee Morris is an architect who ...more
Gerald Curtis
Jan 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is only my second Dick Francis book, and I can assure you it won’t be my last. I enjoyed it far more than my first, which I liked very much. What an incredible depth this author achieves, yet in such incremental steps that the accumulated complexity never overwhelms the reader. And what a wide range of perfectly believable characters he creates. You feel as though you are peeking into people’s real lives.

While it started slowly, the last half was one of those "you can't put it down" storie
May 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I adore the strong male characters in Dick Francis mysteries. The protagonist in this one could take a beating without complaint, out-manipulate bad guys full of uncontrollable rage, design beautiful homes from ruined historical buildings as both builder and architect, provide excellent parenting skills to his five sons, all while restoring a family-owned racetrack to great reknown. I want to marry a Francis-protagonist. What a renaissance man!
Fredrick Danysh
Jun 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lee Morris is a beginning architect and engineer who gets in the middle of a feud over a racecourse between members of a family that he is connected to. He believes that choice is preordained. When murder occurs he comes in danger himself and must make critical choices.
Aug 24, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Dick Francis' characters. They are very philosophical and good-natured, able to survive the most horrible calamities with a sense of humor. The hero of this book is in a rather depressing marriage, but as usual is a very likable guy. Fast-paced and tense, as most of his books are.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A touch of Agatha Christie at the horseraces, with a twist of Cleudo thrown in for good measure. A little dated, but overall, a sedate, easy-to-read crime fiction novel.
Lynn Brewer
I loved the main character of this book. I always enjoy Dick Francis mysteries.
Monica Willyard
This is a mystery where jealousy grows from decisions made long ago causing violence to erupt around a family trying to make difficult decisions in the present. This is my least favorite of the dick Francis mysteries. Still, the writing is good, and the plot is well executed. To me, most of the characters are not likable, and they seem shallow somehow. This isn't normally how people are drawn in Francis's books.
Rob Warner
It's a good story with intrigue and tense moments. Characters were a little too caricature-ish for me to suspend disbelief, so that spoiled it a little. Still, the story moves along with enough twists to keep you reading.
Phillip Noble
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great development of the novel's main character, in that the reader is pulled into rooting for him and his brood of five boys. The plot is a little fantastical given that he's blown up, beaten up, shot at, etc. but the mystery unraveling at the end was satisfying to me.
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dick Francis: gripping and sometimes terrifying with a hero whose head you can climb into. I've loved his books for years and this one is a fine addition to the collection.
Mavis Hewitt
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detective
If you like Dick Francis' books, you'll like this one, a jealous and disunited family, is he trusting the right one?
Jul 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read that Dick Francis wrote good mysteries and just finished reading Decider, one of his standalone books. I totally agree with the positive reviews about his work. He is a good storyteller. Decider was an enjoyable and interesting read that could easily be completed in one sitting unless you prefer to stretch things out.

Francis was born in Wales to a jockey and stable manager and grew up in England around horses. He served in the Royal Air Force during WW11, then became a champion jump jocke
Oct 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, I'm done - three Dick Francis in a row is a bit of over-kill, but his stories move along easily and more mystery then I usually read, so thoroughly enjoyable for a change. Now I must move on to something a bit more....classic.
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A classic Francis thriller. Great story well told. Lee Morris' five boys sometimes steal the whole show.
Denise Kettering
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This book has many of the hallmarks of Dick Francis' best-sellers: a scene in the world of horse-racing, a protagonist who finds himself stuck between disagreeing parties (some of whom want to hurt him), and a plot that moves along at a swift enough pace. If you enjoy other Dick Francis works, you will more than likely enjoy this one too. The book features a morally good hero with a passel of children, who has to unravel the scheming plans of multiple members of one family.
An Odd1
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action, mystery, fan
"Decider" by Dick Francis is the unique small something like an old oak, that builder-architect Lee Morris determines whether one buys a ruined property, or his balance of eight shares in his late mother Madeline's previous husband violent Keith's Stratton family racetrack (unsure). I remember the narrator and father of six sons, one baby at home with Amanda, caught in an explosion because of Toby 12 hiding despite loudspeaker warning, saved by Neil 7 who discovered the detonation cord. Secretly ...more
John Marsh
Dec 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Probably a three-star book overall, but in comparison to the rest of the Francis novels I've read it's only two. There are several elements that are atypical: One, instead of being single and childless, Lee Morris is married and has a whole passel of children. And two, instead of getting up to his ears involved in the goings on Lee remains in the background. I mean, he's definitely involved but mostly in a passive way. More the idea man than the doer, mover and shaker. These things aren't bad by ...more
Faith Freewoman
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
In honor of Father's Day, I continued my nostalgic journey through Dick Francis's irresistible mysteries by re-reading about the best hero father I've ever encountered in fiction.

Many people agree that Francis's heroes are the best part of his stories, and architect Lee Morris is one of the most engaging and sympathetic. But make no mistake, he also has the stubbornly honorable nature I've come to expect from them.

We meet our hero (and his six sons and mostly-estranged-wife) at the family's most
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Dick Francis CBE (born Richard Stanley Francis) was a popular British horse racing crime writer and retired jockey.

Dick Francis worked on his books with his wife, Mary, before her death. Dick considered his wife to be his co-writer - as he is quoted in the book, "The Dick Francis Companion", released in 2003:
"Mary and I worked as a team. ... I have often said that I would have been happy to have b
More about Dick Francis...
“I waved back and went in, and began to sort my way through ancient building plans that had been rolled up so long that straightening them out was like six bouts with an octopus.” 1 likes
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